Around the globe, ancient medicine practices are woven together with a single common thread – elemental theory. Indigenous civilizations believed that the elements of earth, water, fire, air and space made up all living things.

Health and vitality were achieved after carefully addressing any imbalances in the elements and bringing the body back into sync with nature.

More than 12 million Americans enjoy at least eight games of golf a year. Whether the occasional player or a dedicated golf warrior, everyone is striving for the same result … the perfect swing.

Having one’s body balanced and in sync can help.

So, how does Thai massage achieve this today?

Thai medicine, to include Thai massage, can trace its lineage to the third century B.C.E. Also known as Thai Yoga Bodywork, or nuad boran in Thailand, Thai massage isn’t really massage at all. At least not as we define it in the West. 

For starters, the receiver remains clothed and the practice is performed on a mat on the floor where gravity plays a significant therapeutic role.

The goal is not to work sore muscles or manipulate soft tissue necessarily. Neither is its purpose to simply stretch or perform passive yoga on another person – although this is often the easiest way to explain it.

Rather, the goal of Thai massage is elemental recalibration. Its purest essence is that of an ancient practice intended to bring balance and coherence to one’s physical, spiritual and energetic body.

Thai sports massage is ideal for all kinds of athletes, especially golfers. Golf is a sport that requires flexibility and a full range of motion in the back, hips, neck and shoulders.

Thai sports massage can help lengthen the muscles, thereby increasing the ranges of motion of the joints they are connected to.

If fire or inflammation is prevalent in the body of the receiver, the practitioner will use a watery approach to extinguish excess heat by moving the energy away from the core and cooling the extremities with brushing techniques or wave-like movements.

A skilled practitioner will dissolve adhesions, stimulate the body’s lifeforce, and use a combination of broad and directed acupressure to relieve pain or stagnation in the body. While not a direct intention of the practice, the receiver might walk away feeling taller, toned and more flexible.

The benefits of massage are infinite. The benefits of Thai massage include all the traditional benefits of massage and more by allowing and encouraging the receiver to engage in a deep meditative practice of self-healing, relaxation, and renewal that is still relevant today.

The only way to truly understand it is to experience it for yourself.

Cat Farrar is a licensed Thai Massage Practitioner and Ayurvedic Counselor at Inner Peace Massage in Bluffton.